I've been steadily getting better at this sourdough lark and recently produced quite a nice loaf (apologies for the colour balance, this was taken at night):
One thing I have noticed about all my loaves (about 30 so far), however, is that the crumb (I think that's the right term?) is stiffer and a bit chewier than I'd like. While it tastes great, I'd prefer a lighter, fluffier texture to my loaf, particularly since I'd like to start trying to make baguettes.
I have used both Sourdom's Pane Fesca(1) as well as Graham's recipe from the starter kit at around 70% hydration. As the weather has changed proofing times have dropped from 14 hours to 3 hours which has been fun!
For the starter I have used both wholemeal and white starters (at 100% hydration) ranging from 20-40% in the recipe and for the rest of the flour I use plain white. The flour I use is Kialla's Organic white unbleached plain flour with a rated protein level of 13% or higher.
So, is it the protein level in the flour that is causing this stiffness? Does anyone have any sugestions as to how I can create softer, fluffier loaves and hopefully baguettes?